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Old 02-28-2014, 07:49 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,386 times
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In case you missed it Spike Lee had an ironic rant on gentrification recently

Spike Lee's rant on ills of gentrification draws mixed reactions - CNN.com

and then there was this

Man who sparked Spike Lee rant speaks - CNN.com Video

but what got me is when Lee started talking about "history" and how Ft. Greene was an historical African-American neighborhood . . . because my family spent a century migrating down Flatbush Ave. (with some lengthy stays in Ft. Greene).

I decided to look into the demographic history of Ft. Greene and, well, does a generation really count as "historical"?




I also looked into an African-American neighborhood in Philly that goes back 100+ years (what's now known as Graduate Hospital). It grew in size and shifted a little west over the decades but more or less that's where it's been . . . but still, similar problems arise with the "displacement" bogeyman.


And the more neighborhoods you look into the more you see one of these two patterns emerge.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:22 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Spike Lee is a joke. Remember when he railed against Clint Eastwood for accurately portraying the Battle for Iwo Jima in Flags of Our Fathers.

Last edited by ElijahAstin; 02-28-2014 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
Spike Lee is a joke. Remember when he railed against Clint Eastwood for accurately portraying the Battle for Iwo Jima in Flags of Our Fathers.
he says a lot of dumb stuff but that doesn't make his points here any less interesting (if only for the fact that he's wrong on most of them) and it certainly doesn't make the counterpoints less interesting.

His whole rant is even more funny to me because I thought 'Sucker Free City' was a smart take on the dynamics at play . . . I think at heart he's a reactionary. He just reacts to what he sees or wants to see and doesn't have a grasp or doesn't care to know what the actual history of a place is and why people move around.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
he says a lot of dumb stuff but that doesn't make his points here any less interesting (if only for the fact that he's wrong on most of them) and it certainly doesn't make the counterpoints less interesting.

His whole rant is even more funny to me because I thought 'Sucker Free City' was a smart take on the dynamics at play . . . I think at heart he's a reactionary. He just reacts to what he sees or wants to see and doesn't have a grasp or doesn't care to know what the actual history of a place is and why people move around.
IE, Spike Lee is a joke. I agree that topics brought up by joke people are still often worthy of discussion.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Spike Lee makes some really valid posts, and they'll get lost because people don't like him.

For example, in most cities in the US, "we" decided to divest in our cities and their downtowns, and ignored it for 30, 40, 50 years. And then suddenly the "white people" came in, it was more important to actually provide the promised city services.

Now some people might say it was mostly a class thing. But it really isn't. Let's look at PG County in DC. It is a largely black county with an average income of like $80k. Generally speaking, cities with an average income of $80k have no problems attracting "high-end" retail. Why has PG County been having problems of decades? [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...53101334.html]. $80k is $80k.

He makes a point around of not trying to "change" the neighborhood values because their is stuff you don't like. Obviously there is obvious stuff like you don't want drug dealers on the corner. But complaining about the neighborhood block party or the local band practicing in the garage, the ethnic grocery etc is pretty ridiculous. It was there when you moved in.

Most people want their neighborhood to improve from a Quality of Life perspective. But are not happy when the only way their voices are heard is when the "white people" move in. You might have been looking for improved lighting, or better street quality or trash pickup forever. All the while you paid your city taxes for services without getting reciprocation. Then suddenly, problems you have been complaining about for months or years get fixed in a week..... You start to think, do I not matter?

What about stuff like working on education quality? As a country, we don't care about poor people. We don't want them in our neighborhoods. We don't want to be associated with them. So we find ways to price them out, push them out, and isolate them into places with no economic opportunity. And then suddenly we are surprised there are problems. And then the problem becomes...oh crap, they are located where we want our next development. We need to get rid of these people.

I live in a place that has pockets of gentrification (Oakland). Other parts of town that have been nice forever, or are inching up from affluent to super affluent. And parts that have been completely divested in for half a century that won't be on the gentrification path for another 20-30 years. There is a lot of tension around this.

Everyone, regardless of income, deserves a safe place to live, but our values, policies and actions do not match.

Here is a great book around how involuntary displacement has permanent impacts on a community and individuals: Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It: Mindy Fullilove: 9780345454232: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:55 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,442 posts, read 9,875,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Spike Lee makes some really valid posts, and they'll get lost because people don't like him.

For example, in most cities in the US, "we" decided to divest in our cities and their downtowns, and ignored it for 30, 40, 50 years. And then suddenly the "white people" came in, it was more important to actually provide the promised city services.

Now some people might say it was mostly a class thing. But it really isn't. Let's look at PG County in DC. It is a largely black county with an average income of like $80k. Generally speaking, cities with an average income of $80k have no problems attracting "high-end" retail. Why has PG County been having problems of decades? [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...53101334.html]. $80k is $80k.

He makes a point around of not trying to "change" the neighborhood values because their is stuff you don't like. Obviously there is obvious stuff like you don't want drug dealers on the corner. But complaining about the neighborhood block party or the local band practicing in the garage, the ethnic grocery etc is pretty ridiculous. It was there when you moved in.

Most people want their neighborhood to improve from a Quality of Life perspective. But are not happy when the only way their voices are heard is when the "white people" move in. You might have been looking for improved lighting, or better street quality or trash pickup forever. All the while you paid your city taxes for services without getting reciprocation. Then suddenly, problems you have been complaining about for months or years get fixed in a week..... You start to think, do I not matter?

What about stuff like working on education quality? As a country, we don't care about poor people. We don't want them in our neighborhoods. We don't want to be associated with them. So we find ways to price them out, push them out, and isolate them into places with no economic opportunity. And then suddenly we are surprised there are problems. And then the problem becomes...oh crap, they are located where we want our next development. We need to get rid of these people.

I live in a place that has pockets of gentrification (Oakland). Other parts of town that have been nice forever, or are inching up from affluent to super affluent. And parts that have been completely divested in for half a century that won't be on the gentrification path for another 20-30 years. There is a lot of tension around this.

Everyone, regardless of income, deserves a safe place to live, but our values, policies and actions do not match.

Here is a great book around how involuntary displacement has permanent impacts on a community and individuals: Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It: Mindy Fullilove: 9780345454232: Amazon.com: Books
And these are all valid points. Nonetheless, they (a) are not original thoughts by Spike Lee, and (b) have been far better articulated by people other than Spike Lee.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,650,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
And these are all valid points. Nonetheless, they (a) are not original thoughts by Spike Lee, and (b) have been far better articulated by people other than Spike Lee.
Spike Lee is loud literally and figuratively.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,252 posts, read 26,220,119 times
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I'm with Spike on this. As much as people are trying to make it a race thing (it is to a degree...an upper middle class white/race thing), it's not. This new class of people contains a lot of annoying Puritanical little pukes who don't care much for people unlike them. Case in point....

Quote:
The failed fight to reduce the size of the festival — which runs until Sept. 25 — got nasty and personal. Italian-American City Council members banded together to protect the event, as some store owners described the festival-goers as “greasy.

Petrea Davis, the manager of John Fluevog Shoes on Mulberry, even declared in March that San Gennaro “brings to the neighborhood these shady little characters.”
Mangia! But please not here | New York Post

It's not black against white. It's Prole against SWPL. Working Class against Creative Class.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:29 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,504 posts, read 17,720,777 times
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The neighborhood I grew up in, an inner-ring suburb of NYC, was blue collar middle-class White, mostly Italian. Now it is becoming professional class Black with lots of Black doctors, teachers, and lawyers moving in.

Where is the outrage?!?!?

(Most people just want decent neighbors who keep up their yard.)
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:36 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I'm with Spike on this. As much as people are trying to make it a race thing (it is to a degree...an upper middle class white/race thing), it's not. This new class of people contains a lot of annoying Puritanical little pukes who don't care much for people unlike them. Case in point....
Sounds like a bunch of shopowners worried about business one day.
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